Not all bigs are created equal. A case study about contracts.

In a recent downbeat by Moni, she talked about the possibility of resigning the core 4, which got me thinking about how much it will cost to resign Kanter and Favors. This post is a look into how much big men have signed for in the last 5 ears. While we know that the bigger you are, the more you get paid, my theory is that because their are significantly fewer talented 7'-7'2 than there are 6'9-6'11, the market is different for players taller than 7'. This is relevant to us Jazz fans because both Kanter and Favors are under 7'. Because some players grow after they're drafted, I'm going to use ESPN's height measurements, just know that these players are generally all 1.5" shorter than listed because of shoes.

**note, if you want a more statistical approach to the correlation between height and salary, read this excellent post by Aleclam14

Below is a list of top paid big men in the league. Note, there are a few different cases, such as players recently extended, and players who have an averaged salary because of the poison pill (Asik). Also note that because not every player is in the same stage of their contract, some players will receive more money than is listed at the tail end of their contracts.

Salary 2012/2013 Height Player
20,907,128 7' Nowitzki
19,948,799 6'11 Stoudemire
19,536,360 6'11 Howard
19,000,000 7' Gasol, P
17,545,000 6'11 Bosh
$16,889,000 7'1 Bynum
16,460,538 6'9 Randolph
15,000,000 6'9 Boozer
15,000,000 6'10 Big Al
13,891,359 7'1 Gasol, M
13,668,750 7'0 Lopez
13,668,750 7'2 Hibbert
13,668,750 6'10 Love
13,604,188 7'1 Chandler
$13,500,000 6'11 Aldridge
13,490,000 6'10 Okafor
13,200,000 6'9 Smith, J
13,000,000 6'11 Nene
13,000,000 7'0 Bogut
12,744,000 6'9 Lee
12,000,000 6'10 Horford
12,000,000 6'9 Humphries
11,566,265 6'11 Garnett
11,300,000 7'0 Noah
12,250,000 6'10 Ibaka**
$10,532,977 6'11 Jordan
$10,000,000 7'0 McGeee
$10,000,000 6'9 West
$10,000,000 7'0 Bargnani
9,000,000 7'0 Biedrins
8,700,000 6'10 Anderson
8,000,000 7'0 Asik**
7,900,000 6'10 Ilyasova
7,550,000 6'9 Gibson**

So before I try to make any sense out of the information above, note that player markets differ from year to year, and differ depending if you're young, old, a RFA or just a FA, or if you have a smart or dumb GM. With all these factors going into how much a player is worth, I feel like the best way is to look at individual players/comparisons and see if we can find some consistent trends.

1) If you have all star level offensive talent, you're going to get paid max level money. A few of the exceptions are West (coming off a knee surgery), Garnett (team discount/declining), and Lee (no defense). This is significant to realize, because unless we think Favors/Kanter are going to turn into all star level offensive talents, we can cross that off as a reason they'll get paid max money.

2) If you're really tall (7' or taller), but don't have elite offensive skills, you still may gay paid a max contract for defensive purposes (Chandler and Hibbert). Other 7'0 players with limited offense but elite defense/defensive potential were paid a lot of money, but not quite a max contract (McGee, Noah, okafor, Asik, Biedrins).

3)Advanced analytics are being used more and more to determine a players value (Anderson, Asik, Gibson).

4)Sometimes players are just paid more than their market value for whatever reason (staring at you Humphries)

5) Upside is obviously a huge determinent. Gibson (similar production to Favors) got a lot less than Favors will because he's significantly older and his perceived ceiling is lower. Other players like McGee, were paid more than they'd receive otherwise based on potential.

***In the comments section, I invite you to point out some trends that I've missed

Alright, now that we've identified some trends, lets look at some individual cases. DeAndre Jordan (6'11, same size as Favors) went into RFA and was offered a huge contract by Golden State, but was then matched by Clips. This is important. While Jordan has the same defensive potential* as Favors, Favors has already exhibited MUCH more ability on that end, while also showing much more room for offensive improvement. Jordan makes a strong case for Favors being offered the max if he goes into RFA.

Al Horford is a 15/9 big man with pretty good passing ability. He's big, though not quite 7' tall. He's considered a great defender as well. But Horford wasn't offered the max, he is paid 12,000,000 a year. This is encouraging, because if Kanter (similar size/measurements) develops into a 15/9/3 player with good defense, we could sign him to 12,000,000 a year if all things were equal (it never is...).

Ibaka is the player that makes me think we could sign Favors to 12,000,000 a year if we don't wait until RFA. Ibaka has similar measurements, was a DPOY 1st teamer (maybe undeserved, but still), and has shown flashes of offensive talent just like Favors has. I personally think that Ibaka could have gotten more had he demanded more $/waited until RFA, but he didn't. My hope is that we lock Favors up before he hits the open market.

Looking at this list, there is not one player shorter than 7' without all star offensive abilities who has garnered a max contract. Some elite defensive players shorter than 7' have garnered big contracts (Okafor, Smith, Ibaka), but not quite the max.

All this being said, there is no perfect comparison for Favors, Kanter, or their upcoming market situations, but this information leads me to believe that we can lock up both Favors and Kanter for less than the max, especially if we sign them to extensions.

Feel free to leave your opinions in the comment section.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.